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Presented at the 22nd Annual Research Conference

Successful Juvenile Justice Diversion: Impact on the Youth's Functioning, Recidivism and System Costs

Download Handouts: 304 KB pdf

Session Number: 13 Room: Salon I

Presentation Type: symposium

Chair: Discussant:

Synopsis: This session will describe the implementation and evaluation of a youth diversion program, Correct Course, which is administered by the Juvenile Access and Assessment Center (JAC). Youth who successfully complete the diversion program have their charges dismissed, thus avoiding further penetration into juvenile justice. A computerized, self-administered interview, the Juvenile Inventory for Functioning (JIFF; Hodges, 2004), is used to identify the service needs of first-time offenders, match them to community-based services, and collaborate with parents in generating a service plan. The youth are assigned to an appropriate Youth Assistance Program (YAP), whose charge is to meet the youth's needs and provide services. When the youth has completed the program, both the youth and caregivers take the JIFF a second time. Cynthia Smith will describe the program and discuss its impact, including low recidivism rates and dramatic cost savings, which have been used to expand diversion services. Additionally, given that 70% of the sample is African American youths from a large urban area, this program has significantly reduced the overrepresentation of minority youth entering juvenile justice compared to past years. The significant improvements observed in the diverted youths' day-to-day functioning are presented by Kay Hodges. Cynthia Williams from Black Family Development, Inc. (BFDI), one of the 12 YAP programs, will describe the low recidivism rates observed for their program, which includes evidence based treatments. Finally, a parent from the BFDI program will speak about the impact the diversion program had on her family and the role of families in these types of initiatives.

Date: Monday, March 2, 2009

Session Time: 1:30 PM - 3:00 PM

Youth Assistance Program Prevents Progression Through the Juvenile Justice System

We're sorry, handouts are not available for this presentation.

Presenting: Cynthia Williams

All Authors for this paper: Cynthia Williams; Kenyatta Stephens; Ebony Williams; Tonia Williams

Presentation Type: element of symposium

Synopsis: At-risk and diversion youth are participating in a program that is designed to prevent them entering the juvenile justice system. The program, called the "Passport" Program, is designed to build youth resiliency and protective factors using four tracks (1) education and culture; (2) entrepreneurialism; (3) individual and family support; and (4) structured recreation. The program has been extremely successful, with 94% of participants successfully completing the program.

Diversion and Family Based Services Reduce Cost and Entry into Adjudicated Juvenile Justice

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Presenting: Cynthia Smith; Robert Heimbuch

All Authors for this paper: Cynthia Smith; Robert Heimbuch; Mary Johnson; Kay Hodges; Lisa Martin

Presentation Type: element of symposium

Synopsis: This session describes an innovative initiative in which newly detained juveniles are diverted from adjudication and receive family-centered, community-based services. Low recidivism, high caregiver satisfaction and extensive cost savings characterize this program, which includes rapid assessment of youth and generation of a youth and family-guided service plan. This initiative has dramatically impacted the way in which the court and community partners work with the needs of these youths and their families.

Beacon of Light: A Parent's Perspective on the Impact of Diversion

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Presenting: Dorindia Sheppard; Shyanne Depriest

All Authors for this paper: Dorindia Sheppard; Shyanne Depriest

Presentation Type: element of symposium

Synopsis: A parent from Black Family Development, Inc. program will discuss how she and her youth experience the diversion program, including the impact on her child’s functioning and quality of life for the family. She will present suggestions for improving the program and ideas on how to foster engagement of parents whose children are involved with the juvenile justice system.

Pre to Post Outcomes for Youth Served by a Juvenile Justice Diversion Program

We're sorry, handouts are not available for this presentation.

Presenting: Kay Hodges

All Authors for this paper: Kay Hodges; Lisa Martin; Cynthia Smith; Mary Johnson

Presentation Type: element of symposium

Synopsis: Outcomes for a juvenile justice diversion program located in Detroit – Wayne County, Michigan, are presented. A self-administered, computerized interview (Juvenile Inventory for Functioning – JIFF, Hodges, 2004), is used to rapidly divert youth to community services. Diverted youth are referred to a community program and, as needed, to specialty services where outcomes are monitored through repeated JIFF assessments. The outcomes show significant improvement in functioning across settings, providing evidence for the success of this diversion program.